[23/100] Lena’s dog Trixie is a Instagram star and once her dog’s cuteness becomes more profitable than her deadend job, she quits and the two of them become fixtures of the convention circuit. Along the way she befriends fellow online celebrities and B list stars including a “red shirt” who has made a career out of dying in sci-fi shows and movies #100romcoms #the100dayproject


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Age of Ultron Review

So, this is it guys.

The conclusion to (with the exception of Ant-Man) of phase 2 of the Marvel Universe.

After hours and hours of watching  likable heroes spend  2+ trying to find/locate/destroy magic box/scepter/jewel/box/magical object thing, we are here!

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And what did we get with Joss Whedon’s second foray into The Avengers universe?

We spend another 2 hours trying to locate a thing.  Yay!?

Synopsis:

Attractive people chase after big bad to retrieve small item and save the world.

Is it everything we’ve ever wanted? I’d say no. 

This is the problem with Marvel’s strategy. Movies are not movies but set up for more movies and more characters and infinitely more universes.

“Oh! Did you catch that? That is a preview! For a movie that will come out in 2018! Look at that! A relationship that will start 5 movies from now!!!!”

As a result, Avengers 2.0 felt like less like an event and more like a pre-game for another movie which is unfortunate because so many of the phase 2 movies seemed to be leading us here to this one moment but ultimately, none of it mattered.  We got the same movie that we’ve gotten over and over again (with the exception of the excellent Cap 2 of course).

I am  actually really tired of this type of movie. I want a complete full story with a REAL villain that is actually scary instead of having these awesome heroes fight the Putty Patrol.

You know the Putty Patrol, right?

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This movie kind of felt like that restaurant everyone keeps talking about. You go, ready to have multiple foodgasams but end up with good food but hardly mind-blowing. One for the spank bank but nothing you’d tell stories about. I enjoyed watching it because I love seeing movies in theaters and I love this characters but most of what I saw let me down.

Don’t yell at me! I saw it twice to make sure!

Good news first!

What I loved:

Thor

Thor has become the big joke of the internet but I loved Chris Hemsworth in this movie. Let me pause and say that I think Chris Hemsworth is a perfect human so this paragraph might not mean much but I am going to write it here anyway.

Yes, I am bias. This is my blog!

Chris Hemsworth is so funny as Thor. He understands how redic Thor can be and instead of trying to legitimize him as a SERIOUS character, he has fun with it and really leans into the role. It is a welcome change because as much as I love RDJ and Chris Evans, they both were obviously over it in this film. They looked bored. Chris H. was really engaged in every scene. He played along and I really appreciated that.

He is also the driving force for one of the best gags and he was a huge part of my favorite scene in the movie. (Hint: Who is really worthy?) Joss really had fun with Mjölnir and enjoyed showcasing the full Thor-ness of Thor, especially when he collaborated with the other members of the team.

That being said, his subplot made absolutely no sense but whatevs. We can’t have it all.

HAWKEYE!

Jeremy Renner got a huge boost in this movie and is finally acting like Hawkeye from the comics, playing the role of the regular guy perfectly. His subplot actually introduces stakes and tension into the plot. You were WORRIED about him. The rest of the movie was lacking a lot of that “omg, they really could die” feeling. I found myself constantly looking for him in scenes, wanting to know if he is ok and still alive. This is how we SHOULD feel and this is what Marvel (the comics) is excellent at doing this and this is what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wanted. Heros you could actually hurt instead of immortal super powered people flying around.

Stuff I was OK with:

Black Widow and Bruce Banner Ship 

I am on the fence on The Black Widow and Bruce Banner relationship. While I always LOVE a rom com angle, the plot itself was kind of random. I understand that we were meant to pick up that the relationship had been developing for a while but without establishing their connection more in the last Avengers, I didn’t buy it. It also moved a little too quickly for my taste. I do love them together and would want to see them in future movies together but with contracts running out, that won’t happen. There are a lot of complaints out this subplot being sexist but I think that is kind of bullshit  but I don’t have enough room to talk about that here.

The Twins 

I have so many questions about Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Where did they get their powers? What is their backstory? What is their motivation? How are they connected to Ultron. These super important details were all glossed over completely. Their introduction into this universe is a really big deal. These are the first altered humans we have seen beyond Captain America and Hulk and the implications are HUGE in the comics but that is barely touched on here.

The actors did do a great job bringing these powers to life.  Elizabeth Olsen was really great at making her magic feel realistic and scary and Taylor-Johnson was able to embody the playfulness of Quicksilver well but again, I wanted more backstory and context. I know that is hard to ask but even simply just a sentence or two about where their powers actually came from would be a great start.

 

Stuff I was NOT OK with:

ULTRON WTF 

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Ultron is one of those supervillains who  show up everywhere in the MCU. Everyone gets their turn to battle this big baddie because (SPOILER ALERT), Ultron never really dies, he just gets bigger, badder and and more badass. We didn’t get to see that in this at all. He went from 0 to super-chrome soldier really quickly. 

In the comic books, Ultron is actually a creation of Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man so his origins have been a little tweaked for the needs of this movie and as a result, Ultron’s scariness really suffers, Ultron models Tony Stark perfectly. He is jerk with daddy issues and a God complex, trying his best to grow beyond the imposing presence of their creators who are seemingly “better” in every way.

His production design is also impeccable, he is a chrome nightmare, embodying everything that makes us afraid of technology and of robots.

Unfortunately, because he is a perfect model for Tony Stark, he also shares his softness. I thought that is temper tantrums were delicious and scary and I wanted more of them. Instead of being scary he came off more like a sad desperate kid and not in the scary sociopathic way that makes for a great villain.

Such a disappointment.

WHY does Marvel do this with their villains? With the exception of Loki, most of these bad guys shine bright and just….die. Just like that. Completely disposable. Ultron was given a better treatment in the f-ing cartoon movies.

No, seriously. Watch them. They are on Netflix.

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The real Ultron Gives. No. Fucks. He is a badass who doesn’t like emotions or anything human and just wants everything to be better and suck less. Ultron doesn’t even fight the Avengers directly most of the time. He just sends his putty monsters.

 

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The main plot

I have READ a lot of the comics and I had no clue what the heck was going on most of the time and it took me a second watching for the plot to take hold and so I could really understand what Ultron was trying to do. Mix that in whith another mention of those damn Infinity Stones (again another rant for another post) and we were left with a script that didn’t really make any sense.  What was Thor doing? Really? What is The Vision talking about? Joss is usually a great storyteller and I think even he got overwhelmed by the bigness of working with these characters. There are a LOT of people to juggle around and the strain was there.

???

CGI Hot Mess
The opening sequence was very expensive I am sure but that scene was SO CGI’d I almost could not enjoyed it. Most of Thor’s scenes in the opening sequence are heavily CGI’d when it looked like farly simple hand to hand combat. The group shot in the preview of them all jumping at the same time also looked really fake. This movie had the Star Wars preview before it and after seeing those amazing practical effects, seeing that opening scene was a hard pill to swallow. The action scenes and the first movie were great because they were so tangible (same with Cap 2) and in this movie because everything looked so fake I never thought most of the characters were ever in danger.

In the end, Age of Ultron is a good entry to the Marvel Universe but doesn’t reinvent the wheel. The movie is still fun and a must-see on the big screen. Unfortunately, the people f Marvel have given themselves a hard task. So many movies and so many stores — it is going to be hard for people to keep up and in the end, will the superhero bubble burst?

Nah, probs not. SO EXCITED FOR ANT-MAN.

If I was important and could give it a rating, I’d give it a B-

Other random thoughts about the movie:

  • I don’t know about Chris Evans in this movie. He almost has too many muscles? Homeboy must be juicing, right? I love the leaner look of his previous movies. This one he looked like he could barely fit in his shirt.
  • Wolfgang Von Strucker = another BIG DEAL comic book villain that just gets thrown in the  heap. So freaking wasteful, yo. REUSE! RECYCLE!
  • Paul Bettany was amazing as The Vision but again, wtf? If you don’t know the story there is no way any of that made sense to you. Nice body, though.

Stay tuned for comic book recommendations! This is a SUPER post and didn’t want to add here.

Now, over to you! What did you love? What were you ok with? What did you hate?

No, we are not all the same.

I know a lot of white people. I have a lot of white friends. A lot of my clients are white.

My life will never be the same as their life. My life will never be worth as much as their life.

Doesn’t matter how much money I make or how much success I have, it does not matter.

Things are not the same.

I know. Obama is president. 

I know, Beyonce.

Oprah.

Shonda Rhimes.

Blah blah blah.

I think that a lot of people have taken these people — who are huge parts of pop culture society and have used them as representations of the culture as a whole.

“I mean, how can the world be racist when Oprah is so rich and is so influential? She runs the world!”

“I loveeee Scandal so that means things are ok, right? I mean I don’t think of it as a black show, it is just a show so PROGRESSIVE!”

“All the athletes are black so if the world was racist, HOW COULD THIS BE?”

I know you have most likely heard this before but these successes are not only exceptions but in some ways products of the way culture has always been.

Black people have always been objects for entertainment but still excluded in mainstream culture. Artists like The Supremes and Ray Charles would play their music in front of packed audiences full of white teenagers but still have to leave out the side door.

White men listen to more rap music than any other racial group but when they go to hire employees, they won’t hire anyone with a name that resembles some of the real names of the rap artists they listen to everyday.

It is not a coincidence that Obama shows up on shows like “Between The Ferns” and regularly makes stops on Late Night Shows. Fame and equality are not always mutually exclusive and often times in this society to be black and to be famous is to be entertaining and “useful”  and the fact of that there are BLACK PEOPLE DOING THINGS is nice but not representative of the culture as a whole.

Not to mention the fact that these examples are so far and few in between when there are SO many big named producers and directors that are all white men. Don’t even get me STARTED on The Oscars.

So, back to the point. No, we are not the same.

Here is the story of what happened to me, a college educated successful business owner (not that it matters but just to show it DOES not matter):

A few days ago my awesome Uber driver and I (both black) got LOST. We were having a  fun conversation about Johnny Depp (ha) and we both stopped paying attention so we needed some help. We stopped at a grocery store to ask for some directions.

You should have seen their faces.

Not to keep referencing Beyonce or anything but you would have thought we were Bonnie and Clyde or that weird couple (white) from a few years ago who kidnapped women and made them do weird sex stuff before killing them.

People would barely look at us. At one point one guy stood defensively in front of his white wife as in “ok colored people, MOVE ALONG.”

Fine, ok. Maybe people don’t like other people in cars.

Now let’s jump into the time machine and go back a few weeks.

My Uber driver and I got lost. This guy was kind of creepy and I wanted get out the car.  We stop and do the same thing and despite the fact this guy is kind of rude and weird, people HAPPILY walk up to the car and help us at every step of the way. Keep in mind I was visibly uncomfortable and was putting off all types of weird energy but because he is white, he can’t be bad, right?
These are not isolated incidents. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are, how rich you are or how you dress, you are treated like a threat and less than human as a black person in this country. There is nothing you can do to change parts of yourself.

And that is why when something like this happens, black people get angry. We get mad because we can’t change the color of our skin and we can’t FORCE people to stop being pieces of shit and we can’t stop this stuff from happening.

So, no we aren’t going to calm down and be quiet. We have a right to be angry.

Just because your black friends act fine and doesn’t mean it IS FINE.

Cause, wtf, right? WTF.

[Day 14] #100romcoms

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[14/100] Michelle, a award-winning chef, moves back to her parent’s hometown and buys her favorite childhood diner with hopes of turning it into a hip gastropub. She gets her fruits and vegetables from the colorful farmers scattered around the town, including a millionaire tech genius who moved to a farms after a epic breakdown

Trailer for DYMAB + Updates!

So the last time I posted here, I wrote a post that went….viral.

It was on Huffington Post and I was even featured on their live show, Huffington Post Live.

Today I am sharing something equally near and dear to my heart, my very first web series.

For as LONG as I could write, I’ve wanted to write movies and tv shows. I have a old windows 95 computer full of scripts for movies I had planned which were always sequels to movies I wanted to be made. A Mighty Ducks 4. An ending to season 2 of Gilmore Girls that made more sense to me. Creating stories has always been a passion of mine.

Fast forward to today and you’ll finally get to see what me and my team have been working on for MONTHS.

Here is the trailer for “Did You Meet Any Boys?”

The synopsis:

Through daily Facetime conversations, a 20-something entrepreneur pieces together the stories of her social media posts for her confused and constantly concerned mother who just joined Facebook.

Here it is!!!!

Nope, my super-fit sister is not my trainer

I really struggled to write this story.

I don’t talk about the fact that I am not a skinny person very often but I figured this was about as good a time as any to “come out the closet” as a ahem “not size 2.” Or 4. Or 6…you get the drift.

So.

Here is what happened.

I’ve been using Habit Forge for the last month,  trying to build up a habit of moving my body everyday. Over the course of these last 21 days, I’ve really fallen in love with lifting and look forward to my strength exercises every other day. My dad and I have built up a fun routine that we do together which helps keep me motivated and I feel super hardcore and awesome after I  complete a new workout.

This weekend, my very fit sister came into town and she invited me to workout with her and try some new moves. AWESOME! Adding to my strength exercise bank.

My sister and I had the best time. I was already looking to our next workout. This was also my 21st day working out which means that I had completed the 21 days straight challenge, another milestone that left me feeling hype and proud of myself as I was leaving the gym.

On our way out, this trainer stops us. Wait, actually, he stops us, talks on his phone for 5 minutes and THEN proceeds to tell my sister that, and I quote “it has been brought to his attention that you are training someone and you can’t do that.”

I’m sorry, what?

“This is my sister, we were just working out together.” My sister said.

“Well, you can’t train. It doesn’t matter. We have a policy against training in the LA Fitness and you were training her.” He said, making sure to not make eye contact with me.

Apparently, there is a policy. You can’t train anyone at the gym unless you are a LA Fitness trainer.  If you ever been to a gym, you have probably seen mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and friends, working out together. It’s pretty common in the workout world. But because my sister is super thin and I’m not, I must be getting training. We must be breaking some type of rule.

 

This is, of course, not the case. I have a trainer who is not my sister.  I work out regularly. I was just doing the moves I already knew and we were doing them together. I even showed her 1 or 2 moves she doesn’t usually do.

He made an assumption. A sizeist one.  Someone looked at me and then looked at my sister and decided something fishy was going on.

My sister flipped. My dad furrowed his brow and I tried to keep myself from crying. In the end, they apologized. The manager said it would be addressed. We went on our way.

In the words of everyone on the internet, SMH.

 

My first instinct was to hate. Hate that gym.  Hate everyone who works there and everyone who goes for being such shitheads and creating such a sizeist environment.

Then my next instinct was to feel hurt and vulnerable. I’ve always been that girl who has NEVER cared about going to the gym. Even at my heaviest, I never cared because I didn’t think anyone noticed. But now, it seemed like people were watching. Someone had to be.

Then I felt self-righteous.

“This isn’t about me.” I thought.“ It’s about the other women who finally gathered up the courage to go to the gym and make a change only to be reminded that even though she is at the gym, she still has no business being there.” Blah, blah, blah. I was ready to go to war.

 

But then I  had a eureka moment. All of the body love crap (and I’ll be honest here, I’ve always secretly thought it was bullshit) finally made sense to me.

 

My body has ALWAYS (in my mind) been a work-in-progress. Don’t get me wrong, I happily cheer on my plus sized sisters-in-arms, encouraging them as they shared their body positive posts, wrote articles and shared pictures in bikinis. I like. I share. I retweet. I’ve even taken classes. I just quietly go about my business, stressing out over a english muffin, jumping on another cleanse or forcing myself to jump on the elliptical after a big lunch .As a result, despite my best efforts, I never truly connected with the movement.  I never thought I needed it. I was on the way down, anyway.

 

What I realize after this experience is that body love has nothing to do with our bodies but the stories. It’s about taking ownership of our stories so that we can be resilient in the moments when the visions and hopes we have for ourselves are challenged by what other people think. It is for those moments when we can’t stand everything we are, because of what everyone else thinks.

It’s about knowing, in that moment when the tall attractive trainer told my sister that she couldn’t train her chubby sister at the gym because it’s against policy, that it’s not about me. It’s about him or that other person who somehow felt threatened while watching my sister working out. SO threatened that he/she felt the need to say something.

 

I know, duh. But I never got that.

 

MY body acceptance movement is not about big sweeping gestures. We don’t have to wear bikinis because we can or take pole dancing classes because we can.

 

I don’t have to stop working out and just “be” when I KNOW I have goals and things I want to do that I can’t do right now. I can keep working. I can keep watching what I eat.

 

It’s about knowing how to feel and how to act while we do whatever we want to do. Body confidence and acceptance is for the journey, whatever that journey looks for you. Before now, I never understood how those look together.

 

This is how it looks: I am going to go to a gym (maybe not that one), and keep doing what feels good. Lifting weights feels good, so I keep doing it. Working out with my sister is fun, so I keep doing it. It’s my hope, (and this is MY version of doing what I can for the movement), that it encourages someone else to pick up some dumbells or try out one of the machines. I want that woman out there, wherever she is to have the bravery to take the first step that she wants to take because she knows another girl her size can do it.

And I look like a bad ass doing it.

 

27 Before I Turn 27

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YAY! Back! Back! Back! I have a lot of fun things planned for the next few weeks and I have to say, it feels good to get back to my personal writing.

Progress on DYMAB: WE ARE EDITING. It is very, very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing how it all goes down. Have you subscribed? You should! I will have a video up there soon I hope!

So what has been going on? I just turned 26! Yay? Turning 26 was tough for me because for the first time in my life I didn’t feel young. I have accomplished a lot so far but I am not the young plucky upstart that I was when I first started sharing my life and business online.

I am also just realizing how much of my twenties were spent working my butt off. I have spent the majority of my days building up my business which I feel is FINALLY sustainable enough for me to finally stop holding my breath and start doing stuff.

But that feeling of OH I GOTTA DO STUFF feels big. And overwhelming. My initial reaction was OMG I GOTTA SELL MY STUFF AND TRAVEL AND STUFF. PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOMENTS LIKE THIS SELL THEIR STUFF.

This is a result of our ALL or nothing culture we have going right now. Either you go backpacking around the world or you are a sad homebody who does nothing but watch netflix and eat. I hate that. I really do.

Well, I am no world traveler.  I don’t have wanderlust. In fact, if you asked me somewhere I was DYING to go, I’d most likely talk myself out of every option I said.  I honestly love going anywhere that isn’t where I live. I am that person who gets excited in your city even if you live in a sucky city. I  hate logistics and love my dog BUT I am on mission to inject more awesomeness in my day-to-day life and so in true Hey Shenee fashion, I have given myself a challenge. WOOO.

27 things before 27!

This challenge was inspired by Sarah over at Yes and Yes. She resolves to do things every year. New things! Some easy! Some hard!

And so I figured this was a great way to start for me. I like this because it’s all about filling my life with experiences by doing what I do in business. Defining goals and reaching for them.

Now I am sure a lot of the things on this list will feel like a piece o’ cake (hehehe) BUT for a homebody who spent over a year at my parent’s house after graduation before moving into an apartment in Austin (and not going that many places after), my 2nd half (of my twenties) adventure is going to happen in small steps.

Just call me the Bit-by-bit Adventurer! The Slow Moving Life-Liver! Something else!

So with all that in mind, here is my list and I NEED YOUR HELP!

Have an idea for me? Know someone who can help me make an item on this list happen? Want to do one of these with me? I am also resolving to say yes more during my second half so anything that comes to mind, let me know! I am super open! The new country one will be an interesting one. I KNOW I gotta go to San Francisco but the rest is up in the air. 

Ok, enough talk! Here is my list!

  1. Go whale watching
  2. Write a movie review
  3. Get a professional massage
  4. Go on a hike and climb something tall
  5. Read Catcher In The Rye
  6. Pick a favorite charity and donate 1 product proceeds for the cause
  7. Create a gallery wall in my apartment
  8. Take a salsa lesson
  9. Publish something on kindle
  10. Go to a monster truck show
  11. take a underwater selfie
  12. Watch Gone with the Wind
  13. Host a dinner party
  14. Go Speed dating
  15. Complete a solo DIY project (this is actually a big deal for me haha)
  16. Read a Jane Austen novel
  17. Design my own inspirational print and put it up for sale
  18. Go rowing on a lake
  19. Find a signature lipstick color
  20. Visit 3 new cities I have never been to
  21. See a 90′s cover band in concert
  22. Go on a community bike ride
  23. See the golden gate bridge in person
  24. Go surfing
  25. Teach at a retreat in a exotic location
  26. Send a short story to a contest
  27. Go to a country I’ve never been to